Mohit and Nisha Sabharwal have been sued a second time this year, for jewelry based grifting, involving millions of dollars
A couple accused of high level grifting are back in court for a similar scam, this time with another party.
Nisha and Mohit Sabharwal were hit with a high profile lawsuit in February, accused of conning a prominent Manhattan philanthropist into spending millions on fake jewelry.
They couple again are being sued after allegedly pulling the same scam on a financial executive.
Havard educated businesswoman, Sonia Toledo a lawsuit filed in June, stating that Nisha Sabharwal, 56, and her husband, Mohit, duped her into spending $1 million on junk jewelry, according to a lawsuit filed in Manhattan Supreme Court.
The plaintiff, Toledo, says she “had the misfortune” of meeting Sabharwal in 2012.
The defendant reeled into a friendship, Sabharwal treated her like a member of the family, even inviting her to holiday get-togethers in Florida, court papers allege.
Sonia Toledo seen at the opening reception of a show at Soho Photo Gallery, NY, accused Mohit and Nisha Sabharwalof swindling her out of $1million in fake jewelry
Philanthropists, Shelly Rubin and her husband started the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in 21 years, which awards grants to arts and social justice programs
It was then possible for Sabharwal to convince 54-year-old Toledo that she had “access to spectacular, antique Indian jewels, including one-of-a-kind heirlooms from the personal collection of an Indian princess.”
“In reality, however, the pieces are just cheap, Indian-styled ‘knock offs’ worth a tiny fraction of the exorbitant prices paid,” according to the suit.
The first con was executed by the couple on June 28, 2012, when Toledo took Sabharwal’s advice and bought a “ruby” bracelet made by a “monk” for $1,800, the filing says.
“Contrary to Nisha’s representations, this bracelet does not contain a ruby. It is a cheap plastic knock-off worth $129,” the court papers read.
Shelly Rubin accused Nisha Sabharwal [photo], of swindling her to the tune of $18m in fake jewelry
Sabharwal’s mother, Padma Deogun, was also in on the con, the filing says.
Toledo stated that after reading reports of art collector Shelley Rubin’s lawsuit against Sabharwal in March, she realized she was a victim of the same scam.
Rubin, a well-known philanthropist and founder of the Rubin Museum of Art, alleged Sabharwal tricked her into buying $18 million of junk jewelry.
Expensive ripoffs! Rubin Museum of Art co-chair claims woman conned her into paying $18M for knockoffs of ancient Indian jewelry
The Rubin lawsuit alleges that Sabharwal told her some of the phony diamonds she’d bought once belonged to an Indian princess.
Pushpa Sabharwal, Nisha Sabharwal and Monit Sabharwal attend a celebration of India’s 60th Independence anniversary in 2007 in New York City.
Shelley Rubin claimed her Indian connection duped her of $20 million in fake jewelry
The Rubins who brought the first lawsuit against Mohit and Nisha Sabharwal, own and operate the Rubin Museum of Art which focuses on Himalayan works
The MO was similar and Toledo said she realized she had fallen for the same trap, her court papers say.
“The manipulative conduct of Nisha, Mohit and Padma was founded upon unspeakable moral indifference and driven by an evil motive,” the papers say. “It was gross, outrageous, utterly reckless, wanton and malicious.”
In 2014 alone, Toledo says she spent more than $400,000, including $150,000 for two necklaces with “antique snakes.” The bogus jewelry have an actual value of $17,500, according to the suit.
Toledo said “perhaps the cruelest of all” her actions was when Sabharwal offered to “redesign” some of her jewelry.
“Nisha actually stripped Toledo’s family heirlooms of their valuable jewels, replacing them with fakes or imitation stones,” the filing alleges.
Toledo’s suit seeks damages to be determined.
Reacting to the latest lawsuit, the beleaguered couple said through a statement from their attorney: “We have reviewed the complaint and are disappointed in reading the baseless and frivolous allegations which cannot, and will not, be substantiated in a Court of Law,” the Sabharwals’ attorney, Jaspreet Mayall, wrote in defense of his clients.